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Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Taking risks and branching out

In Editorials on January 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Growing and becoming a well-rounded person is part of becoming an adult. Photo courtesy of Kristen Hegel

By: Kristen Hegel

            Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” As much as we all try to lead adventurous lives and try new things, many of us remain stuck to the norm. Being open-minded and branching out is a very important quality to me, and I also think it should be important to others as well.

            High school is the point in our lives where we really begin to have the opportunity to try new things, get involved with activities and meet new people. This is the age where we start developing into who we will become for the rest of our adult lives; now is the time to begin practicing habits that will help us live an adventurous life.

            First off, the phrase “try new things” is very vague and can imply many things. In this case, vague is good; it means there are many things in which you can try. Whether it be trying new foods or picking up a new hobby, you can never go wrong. The worst possible thing that could happen is that you don’t like it. You never know if something you try is about to become a major interest and/or hobby in your life.

            Trying new things should also apply to school. Whether it is trying new classes, joining a club or befriending new people, you could be discovering something that could spark your interest. Throughout high school, I have taken a variety of classes which have given me new interests and new friends. I challenge you to do the same, because you never know when you’ll stumble upon something that you enjoy doing. For seniors who are venturing off to their next step, I challenge you to do the same wherever life takes you.

              Growing and becoming a well-rounded person is part of becoming an adult. Trying new things and being open-minded is a part of branching out and leading a productive, adventurous life. Are you going to let your life be a daring adventure, or nothing?

Welcome to Senior year

In Campus Life on January 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm

By: Summer McCrary

               Senior year is a wonderful time for most teenagers on the face of the Earth.  When seniors graduate, they hopefully will become more independent in making their own life decisions. This time in someone’s life can be really stressful and exciting or both, depending on the person.

One of the first things that seniors need to do is decide if they are going to college or into the work force right after school. Photo courtesy of Kristen Hegel

               There are many things that you can do to prepare for senior year and graduation.  First, you can make a list of all the things that you need to do, keeping senior year and graduation in mind. One of the first things that seniors need to do is decide if they are going to college or into the work force right after school.  If you want to go to college, you need to take the SAT and apply to a few colleges.  Seniors also need to think about how they are going to pay for college and will need to apply for financial aid and/or scholarships.  Seniors also have to remember to order their graduation items such as cap/gown, announcements, and any other graduating paraphernalia.  Seniors have to also remember to keep up their grades, even after they get accepted into college.  Colleges look at grades from second semester and can rescind your acceptance if you don’t do well. 

              For many seniors, they will be moving out of their parents’ house after graduation, whether it’s into an apartment or a dorm room.  This can be exciting and scary.  With a new place to live comes a lot of responsibility such as having to pay bills, cook dinner, do laundry, and manage homework.

               Along with responsibility come some perks as well.  The perks of being a senior are that we can have extra days off from school when it’s the end of the school year before graduation.  Another perk we get is more time at lunch to socialize with friends during Fall Fling and Spring Fling here atFortMillHigh School. These activities are what make being a senior something to look forward to for an upcoming graduate.

                Senior year can be a really great time for many students.  While it can be stressful, remember to enjoy every minute of it because you only get one senior year.

Adoption vs Foster Care

In Editorials on January 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm

     By Stephanie Proctor  

     Have you ever wondered what foster care and adoption are? Have you ever thought about their differences? Why do kids want to be adopted verses staying in foster care? How did kids removed for the first place?

Stephanie Proctor smiles for the camera Photo courtesy Rose Snipes

      Foster care is children are placed into a home that they have never seen before with parents they have nerve met. Being adopted means a child becomes apart of a new family. New parents take on the responsibility from the biological parents and raise the adopted child as their own.   

         There are a lot of differences and some similarities to being adopted and being in foster care. The differences are the guardian, (permanent/nonpermanent), and what happens when the child turns 18. A foster child’s guardian is the state. Being a foster child means that the child doesn’t have a permanent home. The child is there until he/she is either adopted, return home or have to move to another foster home. When parents adopt the child, the stay child is permanent unless the adopted parents decide to give them back. When the young adult turns 18 he/she can sign themselves out of foster care. The similarities are that they in both situations with the child don’t their biological parents. The parents have to go through paperwork and do background checks. They both are start after kids are brought into the Department of Social Services (DSS), which is when kids and young adults are taken away from your family, then the kids are placed into foster after the child then can be adopted.

            When it comes to contact with the biological parents, there is a difference. When a child is first placed into foster care for about year or two, DSS allows him/her to see his/her family. Sometimes after the parent’s, rights are terminated, which means to the real parents are not their parents? More the case worker can give the foster parents permission to allow the kids or kid to write to their biological parents. While still in foster care, they become a warden of the state.  When adopted, it is up to the parents to decide. Sometimes the adoptive parents will say no for the child’s best interest.  

            So being adopted is not a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with being in foster care. Some kids are fine with talking about it and others would rather keep it to themselves because they don’t want people knowing they were taken away from their parents.  Kids and young adults go into foster care for many reasons. So hopefully you learned something.

Hollywood couple divorce after 14 months of marriage

In Entertainment, Uncategorized on January 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

By: Mariah Wilson

     It’s no secret that the Entertainment industry has its fair share of divorces, but the current split between a “pop princess” and a “over-the-top” comedian have left their fans asking what could have gone wrong.  Russell Brand filed for divorce from Katy Perry during the holiday break after speculations that the lovers were having troubles in their marriage.  Brand’s representatives told reporters that “irreconcilable differences” was the reason that their client filed for the divorce. The breakup rumors sparked when the “it” couple was photographed separately, with Brand visiting his home inEnglandand Perry spending time with friends inHawaii.  The couple were both seen not wearing their wedding rings, which added more fuel to the rumors. 

Pop princess and comedian divorce. Photo courtesy Google images

      The two first met during the filming of Brand’s hit movie, Get Him to the Greek, in which they shared an on-screen kiss that started the romance.  Unfortunately the scene was cut out of the film, but that didn’t stop the pair from meeting again.  A couple months passed until the two came face to face at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, which Brand hosted and Perry performed.  The British comedian-turned-actor and the 27 year old beauty began secretly dating in 2009.  The Hop star did not waste any time putting a ring on the pop icon’s finger for he proposed to her while on vacation inIndia after only four months of dating.

            When Katy Perry and Russell Brand married, the ceremony included two elephants for both of them to ride on and other over-the-top entertainment at a luxury resort inNorthern India. They did not sell their wedding photos saying they wanted to keep the ceremony as private and special as possible.  When Brand and Perry surfaced as a married couple, they acted like a couple of school kids who just discovered love.  In early December of 2011, the comedian told Ellen DeGeneres, “I am married to Katy perpetually.  Until death do us part was the pledge.  I am still alive,” when asked if he was having spousal problems.

            Since the divorce papers only held “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split with no other information, fans and critics have made their own theories on why the two did not work out.  One theory that has been spread throughout the Entertainment industry is that Katy Perry’s new partying ways has made Brand uncomfortable, who is a former alcoholic and drug addict.  Another theory, which TMZ set up, is that Katy Perry asked her husband to file the divorce because she did not want to disappoint her Christian Evangelical parents who raised her to know that divorce was wrong.   New details of Perry and Brand’s marriage have appeared in countless magazines and internet sites that say the couple did not sign a pre-nup.  This means that Russell Brand is to get $20 million dollars that comes out of Perry’s $55 million dollar net worth.

            Even though the split is difficult for both spouses, they are trying to refrain from more drama by staying friends.  Brand made this clear in a statement that was given by him personally on Friday after the divorce was finalized saying, “I’ll always adore her [Perry] and I know we’ll remain friends.”  The divorced couple are now beginning the healing stage of their split by spending time with family and friends.  This is especially a true with Katy Perry, who has found refuge with her best friend, Rihanna.  Fans of both Brand and Perry are hoping for reconciliation of the darling Teenage Dream singer and the outrageous comedian.  This seems like an unlikely chance because the two are not worrying about their love life, but more on their careers.

What are changes going to be for NFL?

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm
By: Erik Proctor

While the 2011-2012 NFL season is still going on, there are already changes for 2012-2013 season.  These changes range from quarterbacks, networks, uniforms to coaches.

 

The team’s home jersey used to be orange, but it changed to navy blue in 1997. Photo Courtesy Bing Images

There are several quarterbacks that are free agents, as of now.  Since the football season has not ended, the numbers of free quarterbacks could increase.  One quarterback that is a free agent is Donovan McNabb.  McNabb used to play for the Vikings. 

McNabb was sent to the Vikings after playing one season with the Redskins and now the Vikings are waiving him.  The second quarterback is Vince Young from the Eagles.  Young had spent six years withTennesseebefore sighing a one-year deal with the Eagles.  After coming to the Eagles, his performance was awful and will be playing somewhere else in the coming season as a backup.  The third and final quarterback is Matt Flynn from the Green Bay Packers.  Flynn will be playing somewhere else when the new season starts.  He is expected to get a big contract for 2012-2013 season.

            Another change in the NFL for 2012-2013 is the media.  The NFL announced on December 14, 2011 that yearly Thanksgiving games on Thursday will move to NBC.  That will be established in 2012-2013 seasons.  There are other things the media will establish in 2014.  As the media changes, the uniforms are changing.  So far, the only team that is changing uniforms is the Denver Broncos.  The team’s home jersey used to be orange, but it changed to navy blue in 1997.  This change was made by an overwhelming desire of the fans to wear orange at home.

            There are five coaches being fired at this time, since the football season has not ended, and the number of coaches could increase.  The NFL teams have not yet announced the 2012-2013 new coaches.  The coach of the Jaguars, Jack Del Rio, was fired and replace by Mel Tucker to finish the season. Rio’s record at the Jaguars was 69-73 for eight seasons as being head coach.  Romeo Crennel replaced chiefs head coach, Todd Haley, for the rest for the 2011 season.  Haley’s record at the Chiefs was 19-27 for three seasons.  Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Tony Sparano, was let go and replaced by Todd Bowles.  Sparano’s record at the Miami Dolphins was 29-33 for four seasons.

            Many changes are occurring in the NFL from quarterbacks to networks and everything in between.  So, next year your favorite team, player or coach might not be in the same place as you found them this year. 

 

 

Stimulating your brain with gum

In Health & Lifestyles on January 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm

By: Brianna Jordan

Students are sometimes thought to be rebelious for chewing gum. Photo courtesy of Google images

        How many times has your teacher said for you to spit your gum out because it’s distracting? That teacher probably has not done enough research to know that chewing gum actually stimulates your brain and can help to improve your focus. United Kingdom psychologist did memory and attention testing on 75 people, and of these 75, 25 of them chewed gum while the rest did not. The results for the gum chewers were 24 percent higher on immediate word recall tests and 36 percent higher on delayed word recall tests.

            “These results provide the first evidence that chewing gum can improve long-term and working memory,” Psychologist Andrew Scholey explained. Scholey later on showed off his research at an annual British Psychological Society in Blackpool,Lancashire,UK. The trick to getting your brain stimulated is to convince it into thinking a meal is about to be consumed. Once the brain realizes the chewing action, it thinks a meal is about to come and that causes it to release insulin to soak up all the extra glucose and sugar in the body, therefore; the brain gets all the extra energy it can.

            By chewing gum, it not only stimulates your brain, but it causes the heart to pump faster to get the blood moving faster, so when this sudden burst of energy happens, the body begins to focus more. Most people would assume that such a sudden increase in heart rate and blood and oxygen flow could actually cause harm, but this has not been shown. The increase is not so dramatic that it causes a shock to the body.  

            The Japanese noticed changes of activity in the hippocampus, a part of the brain important for memory, in March 2000, but they could not explain why such activity happened. The gum chewing tactic is really used to just trick the brain into releasing chemicals, so there may be other things someone can do to get the same effect. This research is still going on and who knows, maybe in the future it could be recommended to chew gum in school or work. The next time a teacher says “spit your gum out,” a student could explain to him/her how it could help improve grades, but remember, the teacher may not agree and he/she may still have to spit it out.

 

Iran warns U.S.

In World News on January 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

By: Ciera Johnson

U.S. aircraft carriers travel through the Persian Gulf. Photo courtesy of Google images

         On Tuesday, the U.S. received a warning from Iran to keep an aircraft carrier out of the Persian Gulf. The U.S. did not follow the warning because they believe they’re testing nuclear weapons. The U.S. is not going to back down from Iran and is choosing to ignore the warning.

            Iran is not happy with the rejection of the warning and although they do not plan to attack or act maliciously, they will be prepared if it is needed. The commander of Iran’s army, Maj Gen, says that they will not repeat their warning to the U.S. They are serious about their warning and advise the U.S. to listen to them.

               Iran sent the warning referring to the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier, which belongs to the 5th fleet. It traveled recently through the Persian Gulf to the North Arabian Sea. Iran states that the Americans understood that they were not being “aggressive” towards them and were just doing their own practices. Western diplomats, though, state they were shooting off missiles and were being violent.

               The U.S. states it will continue to travel through the Persian Gulf like it has for years. The U.S. has had ships traveling through the gulf since WWII and the ships fleet covers 2.5 million miles, including the Persian Gulf. They are not going to stop now randomly for no apparent reason. If Iran is messing around with nuclear missles, then they need to be stopped, but if they are not doing anything wrong, there should be no problem with the U.S. traveling through.

The Adventures of Tintin [SPOILER ALERT]

In Entertainment on January 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

By: Danzig Decsy

            Every once and a while, the perfect family film is released to the public; one that’s fun for the kids, but holds enough integrity to impress the grown-ups. The Adventures of Tintin truly holds these attributes to its chest, and then some.

            Firstly, Tintin is a character with a ton of history, dating back to 1929, so here’s a little bit of background. Tintin was the brainchild of Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who often went under the alias of Herge when writing. His comics followed the wild adventures of Tintin, portrayed as a young journalist, who solves elaborate mysteries and fights away criminals and evil doers. However, Tintin is never alone in his endeavors. If being a parentless kid with a multitude of incredible skills wasn’t enough, he manages to make a few friends throughout his career, including the clumsy policemen, Thompson and Thomson, and his faithful German shepherd, Snowy.

Drawing the attention of adventurers of all ages, Tintin is a must-see. Photo courtesy of Google images

            The film portrays its cleverness from the very beginning. Tintin sits in the middle of a street market as an artist, unmistakably a cameo of Herge, draws his portrait. As the journalist ventures further into the market, he comes across a spectacular model ship, The Unicorn. He purchases it and is almost immediately warned by a mysterious man that he needs to dispose of it as quickly as possible. The unconvinced hero dismisses the warning, however, and keeps the ship and all its wonder. He soon finds himself in a rut with the almost devil-like Sakharine, who’s only interest is a certain scroll found inside the mast of the model ship. Sakharine resorts to murder and betrayal in an attempt to obtain the scroll, and imprisons Tintin on a boat where he soon meets the drunken Captain Haddock, also being held captive. Tintin, Haddock and Snowy escape the ship and begin a sort of cat and mouse chase to Sakharine’s destination ofMorocco. Eventually, Tintin, with the help of the alcohol-induced Haddock, discovers that there are three Unicorn models that Sakharine is after, all of which hold scrolls serving as puzzle pieces leading to the old Haddock family treasure.

            Through many action-packed scenarios, dramatic realizations and clever escape routes, Tintin, Haddock and Snowy eventually persevere. Sakharine is led to his fate behind bars, and the heroes locate and find the grand prize.

            The Adventures of Tintin is one of Steven Spielberg’s best works. Spielberg manages to maintain the feel of the original Tintin comic, while adding certain attributes that make the film his own. The visuals are so beautiful and realistic, that it’s easy to forget that this is an animated production. The 3D presentation, although seemingly unnecessary, isn’t too overplayed. As for the story, Tintin is enticing from beginning to end. Throughout the entire film you’ll either be laughing your head off, sitting at the edge of your seat with anticipation or trying to solve the mystery along with the charismatic journalist. Without a doubt, The Adventures of Tintin is a must see for individuals of any age looking for some adventure.

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Have you ever wondered what foster care and adoption are? Have you ever thought about their differences? Why do kids want to be adopted verses staying in foster care? How did kids removed for the first place?

Foster care is children are placed into a home that they have never seen before with parents they have nerve met. Being adopted means a child becomes apart of a new family. New parents take on the responsibility from the biological parents and raise the adopted child as their own.   

There are a lot of differences and some similarities to being adopted and being in foster care. The differences are the guardian, (permanent/nonpermanent), and what happens when the child turns 18. A foster child’s guardian is the state. Being a foster child means that the child doesn’t have a permanent home. The child is there until he/she is either adopted, return home or have to move to another foster home. When parents adopt the child, the stay child is permanent unless the adopted parents decide to give them back. When the young adult turns 18 he/she can sign themselves out of foster care. The similarities are that they in both situations with the child don’t their biological parents. The parents have to go through paperwork and do background checks. They both are start after kids are brought into the Department of Social Services (DSS), which is when kids and young adults are taken away from your family, then the kids are placed into foster after the child then can be adopted.

  When it comes to contact with the biological parents, there is a difference. When a child is first placed into foster care for about year or two, DSS allows him/her to see his/her family. Sometimes after the parent’s, rights are terminated, which means to the real parents are not their parents? More the case worker can give the foster parents permission to allow the kids or kid to write to their biological parents. While still in foster care, they become a warden of the state.  When adopted, it is up to the parents to decide. Sometimes the adoptive parents will say no for the child’s best interest.  

            So being adopted is not a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with being in foster care. Some kids are fine with talking about it and others would rather keep it to themselves because they don’t want people knowing they were taken away from their parents.  Kids and young adults go into foster care for many reasons. So hopefully you learned something.

Playoffs?

In Sports on January 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

By: Drew Marshall

After being pushed out of the playoff picture for years, quarterback Tim Tebow has put the Denver Broncos back into contention. Photo courtesy of Google images

              As this year’s NFL playoffs are set to begin, different teams are representing years of growing success, while others show signs of withering defeat. Several teams made their first playoff appearance in a few years, including the Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. However, with the success of these teams, others have failed. It seems as though the continuous trials by many teams in the NFL have paid off, and these playoffs will be their opportunity to show how far they have progressed.

            There are, of course, a few teams that are regulars to the playoffs. The Steelers, Ravens and Patriots make up the strongest AFC contenders. These teams have made their presence known, and it seems that all three are strong competitors against the talent of the NFC this season. Along with these three veteran teams, inexperienced Denver has been led to the postseason behind the strong play of quarterback Tim Tebow. This will be the first trip for the Broncos since 2005, and they face the same Steelers team this year. Pittsburgh is heavily favored in the matchup, coming in with a 12-5 record, to Denver’s 8-8 mark. The AFC usually is seen as the stronger league, but the NFC will be certain to bring challenges this year.

            The NFC brings in strong contenders in the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints. Both of these teams have won Super Bowls in recent years, and they are two of the top three seeds this season. The second seed belongs to newcomer San Francisco, led by running back Frank Gore and quarterback Alex Smith to a 13-3 record. The NFC will certainly challenge the perennial powerhouses of the AFC, and they may even be able to rewrite the subservient stereotype their league has experienced for some time.

            While the playoffs are enticing, the teams that failed are facing the same toils, as managers and coaches try to determine what went wrong. One team that defines this defeat is the Dallas Cowboys, who lost a season ending game to divisional rival Giants that cost them a playoff spot. Though the failure strikes deep in the franchise, owner Jerry Jones is still confident in his team’s ability and believes they would have been able to go far, if they had made the playoffs. “More often than not, when you’re in the kind of shape we are statistically, you’re doing better in the playoffs,” Jones stated.

            This postseason has the potential to change the NFL preview forever. No longer will teams such as Houston or Cincinnati be counted out because of their poor history. Teams that have historically been bad have now grown into a threat through years of rebuilding. Powerhouses are dwindling, mostly shown in the Colts’ fall from power without quarterback Peyton Manning. The NFL has proven that success cannot last forever, and each team must make decisions that will help their franchise, today and in the coming years.